Argumentative Essays

Argumentative Essays

Author: Emma Allen

Argumentative essays are longer essays consisting of a well-researched topic and an argument for one side of the topic. The essay should be free of fallacies of argument and include several different ways of making your claim. There are a lot of new terms with this one, so make sure you familiarize yourself with those before moving on.

Argument essays are usually 10-12 pages long and contain well-researched arguments that can be defended against any number of objections. Above all, the essay must contain evidential support and be probably cited.

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Background Knowledge

To use this lesson effectively, you should know the following:

  • How to write a thesis statement
  • Transitions/Topic Sentences
  • Introduction - Body - Conclusion
  • Writing Process

Source: any static images used in this lesson were found at http://www.dreamstime.com/

Monty Python Defines Argument in the Argument Clinic

This is a great example of the differences between an argument and a contradiction. Arguments must be intellectual, researched and well supported. They can't be just an opinion at the top of one's ears. The video is an excerpt from the whole video, which is 2.5 minutes long. Starts at 0:30, ends at 1:30.

Source: Monthy Python's Flying Circus - Argument Clinic (youtube.com) - July 15, 2010

Arguing Your Claim

Tying It All Together To Write Your Paper

  1. Pick your Topic using clustering Venn Diagrams or Brainstorming.
  2. Make your Claim (and if necessary, briefly list your reasons) - this doubles as your thesis statement.
  3. Find Verified Evidence.
  4. Actively Read the verified evidence
  5. Critically Think about the evidence and your claim
  6. Use deductive or inductive reasoning where appropriate
  7. Decide on a way to argue your topic.
  8. Make an outline – keep your reasons, supporting evidence and any objections together.
  9. Follow the Introduction - Body - Conclusion format unless otherwise noted.
  10. Avoid fallacies of argument when writing your paper.
  11. Remember to argue fairly.


Source: Ruszkiewicz, John, Maxine Hairston, and Daniel Seward. SF Writer. Third. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, Prentice Hall, 2005. 167-217. Print.

New Terms and Definitions